Dr. Martin Pall, a professor emeritus of biochemistry and medical sciences with Washington State University, has written several peer-reviewed papers on the subject of how electromagnetic radiation of various levels impacts human beings, as well as given international lectures on the subject.
Pall told Truthout that these claims that electromagnetic radiation is safe are "untrue," and provided reams of evidence, including his own scientific reports, that document, in detail, the extremely dangerous impacts of even very low levels of microwave and electromagnetic radiation.
Pall's paper, titled "Electromagnetic fields act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects," outlines the impact of electromagnetic radiation on biological organisms, and was given the honor of being posted on the "Global Medical Discovery" site as one of the top medical papers of 2013.
According to Pall, a NASA study, and more then 1,000 other scientific reports and studies, the health impacts of even the lowest levels of electromagnetic radiation emissions are shocking.
Pall explained that people and agencies that advocate for the current safety standards around EMF levels claim that we only have to be concerned about their thermal/heating effects.
Pall's aforementioned paper and the 24 studies cited within it show that the generally accepted EMF safety standards are based on a false assumption: "that all you have to worry about is heating."
The common claim is that there is "no conclusive evidence" that EMF radiation harms humans or wildlife due to "inconsistent data" and "conflicting reports" on the subject.
Pall vehemently disagrees with this position.
His analysis of scientific reports and data shows that a great number of them show harmful effects at non-thermal levels, when it is viewed consistently according to cell types, fields and end points of studies. Nevertheless, many of the studies claimed there were "no effects" from EMF radiation, simply because the effects were non-thermal, despite the studies themselves showing evidence of non-thermal effects.
"So in the data there is no inconsistency whatsoever. None," according to Pall.
"This has been going on for years, and people have been assured of safety based on these things and it is absolute nonsense," he explained. "So we have a situation now where most people in the world are exposed to microwave frequency radiation based on scientific studies that have no scientific merit."
Pall said he sees the entire regulating system as flawed, and there is ample scientific evidence to back his perspective.
"We know the claims that you only have to worry about heating effects are false; there is no question on that," he said. "All the assurances of safety are based on that assumption. So this whole thing is of great concern."
According to Pall, there is ample evidence of biological effects from EMF radiation that are "extremely worrisome." These include cellular DNA damage that causes cancer and infertility, "and both of these have been repeatedly reported to occur with low-level exposures."
Nevertheless, Pall added, "There are studies that don't report these, because they are done under different conditions, and that is not surprising."
To make his point, Pall cited an infertility study conducted with rats that showed there was less fertility with each generation, "and by the fifth generation they were completely infertile."
Pall was very clear in his assessment of the potential impact of how EMF radiation impacts our daily lives - from cell phones, to wireless networks, to the myriad other electronic devices that are so common today.
Numerous studies back another of Pall's points, which is that there is ample evidence that younger people are more susceptible than older people to the harmful effects of EMF radiation.
"This is why childhood leukemia is more common than adult leukemia," Pall said.
When asked about the position of Millet and the Forest Service, Pall said "Millet has been emailed this evidence, that amphibians are particularly sensitive to these fields, and much of the amphibians' decline around the world are being attributed to these fields. We also know that migrating birds are particularly susceptible. Yet Millet has not given any evidence to the contrary, and that is not science. Science is always based on evidence."
"There are close to 1,000 studies on electromagnetic fields that show the production of oxidated stress," he said. "So even just using a cell phone gives you oxidative stress in your brain by breaking down your blood brain barriers that protect you from infections and other things."
Pall explained that, according to his and numerous other studies, there are numerous neuropsychiatric effects caused by this "low-level" EMF radiation, including depression.
Physical effects include heart arrhythmias and tachycardia, "and these can lead to sudden cardiac deaths," Pall said. "Slow heartbeats also occur at increasing rates, and these are indirect effects and they are all life threatening. There is a lot of literature on cardiac effects on humans, and I'm writing a paper on it right now."
Pall also cited a study that showed that when young rats are exposed to low-level EMF radiation, "you end up with middle-aged rats that have Alzheimer's disease. Rats don't normally develop Alzheimer's."
Pall cited one of the philosophers of science whose work determined the structure of modern science, Karl Popper, who believed the strongest type of scientific evidence is that evidence which falsifies a theory.
"So we have literally thousands of studies that have falsified the heating paradigm for microwave fields, each of which individually have falsified the claim that all you have to worry about is heating," Pall explained. "Now, what Popper would say then is, obviously the statement that all you have to worry about is heating is a false claim. You only have to falsify it once. So the only way you can claim safety is to look at each of those individual studies and prove that it has been deeply flawed."
A 2013 paper published in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health, titled "Radiation from wireless technology impacts the blood, the heart and the autonomic nervous system," lists a series of 14 different pleas from multiple scientists who state the need for much more vigorous action on the health effects from microwave EMFs.
In February 2014, Willie Taylor, director of the Office of Environmental Policy and Compliance with the US Department of the Interior, sent a letter to Eli Veenendall with the US National Telecommunications and Information Administration. In it, Taylor lists several concerns about the impact of communication towers, as well as towers emitting "electromagnetic radiation."
The letter, of which Truthout acquired a copy, included an attachment that stated: "Radiation studies at cellular communication towers were begun circa 2000 in Europe and continue today on wild nesting birds. Study results have documented nest and site abandonment, plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship, and death (e.g., Balmori 2005, Balmori and Hallberg 2007, and Everaert and Bauwens 2007)."
Furthermore, the letter notes that the Federal Communications Commission continues to use outdated exposure standards when it comes to radiation emitted from cell phone towers.
"The problem," the letter continues, "appears to focus on very low levels of non-ionizing electromagnetic radiation. For example, in laboratory studies, T. Litovitz (personal communication) and DiCarlo et al. (2002) raised concerns about impacts of low-level, non-thermal electromagnetic radiation from the standard 915 MHz cell phone frequency on domestic chicken embryos - with some lethal results (Manville 2009, 2013a). Radiation at extremely low levels (0.0001 the level emitted by the average digital cellular telephone) caused heart attacks and the deaths of some chicken embryos subjected to hypoxic conditions in the laboratory while controls subjected to hypoxia were unaffected (DiCarlo et al. 2002)."
The letter concludes:
Balmori found strong negative correlations between levels of tower-emitted microwave radiation and bird breeding, nesting, and roosting in the vicinity of electromagnetic fields in Spain. He documented nest and site abandonment, plumage deterioration, locomotion problems, reduced survivorship, and death in House Sparrows, White Storks, Rock Doves, Magpies, Collared Doves, and other species. Though these species had historically been documented to roost and nest in these areas, Balmori (2005) did not observe these symptoms prior to construction and operation of the cellular phone towers.
Furthermore, a NASA study published in April 1981, titled "Electromagnetic Field Interactions with the Human Body: Observed Effects and Theories," was clear about the damage that EMF radiation caused to humans. Information for the NASA report was collected from over 1,000 written sources that "included journals, conference proceedings, technical reports, books, abstracts, and news items," and "additional sources included in-person meetings, telephone interviews, and lecture tapes."
"Both theories and observations link non-ionizing electromagnetic fields to cancer in humans," the report notes. "Man is changing his terrestrial electromagnetic environment . . . If he knew the consequences of these changes, he might wish to compensate for or enhance them."
The study "is concerned chiefly with those lower frequencies" of EMF radiation, just as are most of the aforementioned studies as well as Pall's work.
As for adverse effects from EMF radiation, the report states, "Some result in death and persistent disease," with other impacts being "ventricular fibrillation and sudden infant death syndrome," "cataracts," "accelerated aging," and that electromagnetic fields "may promote cancer" and cause a "decrease in sex function."
The NASA study lists dozens of other human health impacts, and one of the tables in the report, titled, "Subjective effects on persons working in radio frequency electromagnetic fields," lists symptoms that include hypotension, exhausting influence on the central nervous system, decrease in sensitivity to smell, periodic or extreme headaches, extreme irritability, increased fatigability, and intensification of the activity of the thyroid gland.
Further evidence comes from Swiss Re, a group which describes itself as "a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer," which released their own risk assessment report, within which they listed "emerging risk topics" which could impact the insurance industry in the future.
The report lists "unforeseen consequences of electromagnetic fields" as having "high potential impact."